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Happy New Year to our CSE Family!

Thank you to all our amazing students, faculty, staff, partners and alumni! 2021 was a challenging year, but a fruitful one for the Center for Sustainable Enterprise (CSE) and for sustainability at Kenan-Flagler Business School. Our incredible CSE team (staff and student interns) not only worked through the continued challenges of Covid-19 with resilience, but also spread positivity throughout our CSE family and beyond. We profoundly grew student, faculty, alumni and professional engagement through providing continued support and involvement opportunities in our growing list of successful programming.

2022 is setting up to be another enormously impactful year. Get ready as we continue to pursue our mission to drive responsible thought leadership and inspired action to accelerate progress in social and environmental sustainability through innovative and profitable business solutions.
Among many other events and activities, the upcoming spring semester will feature our new competition, LIFT, which challenges student teams to propose blended finance solutions to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while driving social equity and economic mobility. Submissions are due January 20, at which point alumni and other professional judges will determine who will compete live and virtual in the finals on February 4 and 5. Let us know if you would like to join us as a judge or get involved with our Invest for the Future Leadership Council.

We are excited to bring you the next iteration of our UNC Sustainability Awards. The undergraduate Sustainable Business Club will nominate companies doing business in North Carolina based on sustainability initiative, innovation and impact. Then, our MBA Net Impact chapter will evaluate those nominations to choose the award winners. Join us on April 28 to find out who this year’s award winners are and to celebrate our graduating full-time MBA Sustainable Enterprise concentrators. We are also co-hosting UNC’s Clean Tech Summit on March 29 and 30, featuring panels on green finance, sustainable textiles, clean hydrogen and much more.

Keep an eye out for more impactful sustainability research from Kenan-Flagler faculty this year as our faculty continue to explore social and environmental impact. Our students are also continuing to drive sustainability as they grow into our future business leaders.

As classes start and we begin an eventful 2022, stay tuned to communications from CSE. We have many opportunities for you to get involved! Let us know how you want to engage with us and what you would like to see happen in business and sustainability at Carolina – both the social and environmental components.

Welcome to 2022—we are confident this will be another truly impactful year!

2021 Highlights

Here are just some of our sustainability accomplishments in 2021:

  • Our students and student clubs continue to thrive and drive sustainability across campus. Our faculty throughout Kenan-Flagler published even more research on sustainability-related issues, continuing to drive positive impact through thought leadership. Thanks to new programming and our faculty, Corporate Knights’ Better World MBA ranking awarded us with the #3 spot in the U.S.

  • Our Invest for the Future initiative had an extremely successful first year. We created a Leadership Council that will continue to grow. We hired 25 student interns! We created and hosted our successful India Impact Challenge powered by Quantum Advisors. The competition challenged students around the world to propose ideas for investment in India to address climate change and drive equitable economic development. After the competition our interns created helpful resource pages on investment and story maps about some of the student teams. Based on this work, the International Chamber of Commerce invited us to host a panel, during their COP 26-related conference. The panel focused on investing in medium and low-income markets to address climate change. Last summer and fall we prepared our new competition that will take place over the next few weeks, Launching Investment for Future Transformation (LIFT).

  • 2021 also marked the first year that our UNC Sustainability Award was chosen by our students. We hosted our annual Invest for Impact competition and FoodCon, the annual event planned by our MBA students along with students from Duke and NC State. We saw multiple new courses created on sustainability-related topics for both undergraduate and graduate students. More alumni are visiting our classrooms (virtually and in person) to teach about their work in sustainability and business. An increasing number of students are interested in sustainability, filling up our courses and creating new opportunities for students, faculty and professionals.

2022 promises great things as we grow from this strong foundation—thank you for being a part of it.

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